Google Maps has launched a new Community Feed in the Explore tab that features reviews, photos, posts, and articles, with an option to follow users such as local experts, and give a thumbs up to posts users like.
The Community Feed builds on the foundation laid by contributions of several users submitting reviews, ratings, photos, recommendations, and more, on Google Maps accessed by people to explore local areas.
This information more often than not influences decisions such as a restaurant the user wants to go to, an area they want to explore, try out a new pub that has recently opened, and more. Google is harnessing the power of this community into the feed.
The Community Feed is less about connecting with other users, and more about connecting local brands and businesses. It is now rolling out globally for everyone on Android and iOS.
Users can customize their Feed by selecting interests such as food and drink preferences. For instance, if a user has marked ‘North Indian’ as their interest, they would see recommendations, photos, and business posts for that cuisine.
They can also follow their favorite restaurant to get updates such as additions to the menu, and more. Outings and trips can also be planned on the basis of the recommendations in the Feed.
The Community Feed is particularly beneficial for local businesses who have a Business Profile, as Google mentions in the early phase of testing the Community Feed, they saw that posts from merchants were seen two times more than before the feed existed.
Google Maps has streamlined outdoor activities for several users around the world with information generated from users themselves. The community feed should be leveraged by local businesses and brands for organic communication of their offerings.
The Feeds also holds scope for branded collaborations and partnerships with local guides and experts, although Google has not mentioned is that is or is not allowed on the platform.